She crawled out of her mother's bed and into sub-zero temperatures wearing only a diaper. Found in the snow hours later she had no pulse and no vital signs. And, it would have seemed, no hope, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.
Her body temperature was 60 degrees -- her fingers and toes frostbitten. Doctors started to warm her. Two hours after her heart had literally stopped cold, it started again all on its own.
Doctors said the girl, who was clinically dead when she arrived at a hospital, had no immediate indication of brain injury, although the extent of her frostbite wounds are still being determined.
Medical officials expressed amazement at the recovery, saying there were only "four or five" known cases where a child has survived after becoming so cold.
"Just when you think you're getting smart, you get stumped by something like this where a child overcomes so many hurdles and comes through to where she is at this point in time It's humbling," Dr. Allan De Caen told reporters.
The toddler crawled out of her mother's bed and went outside in Edmonton's minus-11 degree Fahrenheit weather early Saturday. The mother discovered her daughter hours later, lying curled in the snow of a neighbor's backyard.
Paramedics said the girl, whose name has not been released, had no pulse when they arrived on the scene. She was described as being nearly "frozen solid" to the point they had difficulty opening her mouth.
Medical officials at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Centre told reporters they theorize the extreme cold helped preserve the girl by reducing the need for oxygen in her brain at the same rate that her circulation slowed "down, down down."
Doctors used a blanket heated by air to warm her. Her heart began to beat again on its own just as doctors were preparing to place her in a heart and lung machine.
Doctors said the extent of the girl's frostbite was still being determined, and it could be several weeks before they know if any of her toes or other limbs will have to be amputated.
Edmonton police have no plans to file criminal charges and consider the incident an accident.
Buick said the 26-year-old mother is recovering from the mental trauma of the ordeal as her daughter's physical condition improves.
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